PQ promises a daycare spot for every child
MONTREAL—The Parti Quebecois made an expensive promise when leader Pauline Marois hit the campaign trail on Monday: one subsidized daycare spot for every child who wants one.
At a stop in Terrebonne, the PQ leader put forward a plan to create an additional 30,000 spots in the province’s Centre de la petite enfance system. Estimated to cost $177 million, Marois also promised to reverse a hike in daycare fees proposed by Liberal Party leader Jean Charest and keep fees to $7 per day.
“We think this is very good news for parents and families today, I am very proud of that,” said Marois, adding that she wants to finish what she started, which is the $5-dollar-per-day daycare plan implemented by the PQ in 1997.
Under a plan put forward by Charest, 15,000 spots would be created in this year’s spring budget. However, speaking at the start of the 2012 electoral campaign, the premier promised to raise daycare fees over the next five years from $7 to $8-a-day, and to then index fees to inflation.
Marois’ proposal would double Charest’s plan, creating a spot for every Quebec child over the next four years.
When asked by CTV Montreal how her government would pay for the program, Marois could offer no explanation. She said the details of the plan would be worked out later.
Wherever the money comes from, it would be a good investment, said Gina Gasparini of the Quebec Association of CPEs.
“Every dollar we invest in early childhood development saves us seven dollars down the line,” she said. “I guess we can generalize with all promises that are made in a campaign which will see the light of day or not, but we're hoping that the good promises like this one do come to be realized.”